'A beautifully written, highly engaging, page-turning masterpiece' Fantasy Book Review. Discover the extraordinary debut that has got everyone talking
'One of my favourite books of all time' Mark Lawrence
'An extraordinary debut that is well worthy of the hype. A beautifully written, highly engaging page-turning masterpiece' Fantasy Book Review
Mild-mannered headmaster Thomas Senlin has always wanted to see the Tower of Babel. Immense as a mountain, the ancient tower is the greatest marvel in the world, comprising unnumbered ringdoms stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. Lured by the grand promises of a guidebook, Senlin takes his new bride, Marya, on the honeymoon of their dreams. But no sooner do they arrive at the Tower than Senlin loses her in the teeming throng.
Senlin's search for Marya carries him through madhouses, ballrooms and burlesque theatres. He must endure betrayal, assassination attempts and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to ever see his wife again, Senlin will have to do more than just survive - this quiet man of letters must become a man of action.
Before settling down to write fantasy novels, Josiah Bancroft was a poet, college instructor and aspiring comic book artist. When he is not writing, he enjoys playing post-pop music with his band, Dirt Dirt, drawing chalk pictures on his office wall and cooking pub curry for his wife, Sharon. He shares a home with her and their two rabbits, Mabel and Chaplin, in Philadelphia.
More examples of his work, including updates on upcoming instalments in the Books of Babel series, can be found at www.thebooksofbabel.com.
Senlin Ascends is one of the best reads I've had in ages . . . I was dragged in and didn't escape until I'd finished . . . It has truly excellent prose. So many lines made me deeply jealous. Clever, literary, insightful lines that cut to the quick of the matter. The story is compelling. It unfolds and unfolds. Because the characters are excellently drawn, I cared very much about where it was all going. The imagination is unbound and intriguing . . . I hope it finds the audience it deserves — Mark Lawrence
A terrific, free-ranging fantasy that ranges from Kafkaesque horror to heist thriller, all tied together by themes of agency and ascension. What begins as a disconnected series of curious vignettes turns into an exciting and cunningly constructed epic. Senlin is that rare fantasy protagonist that succeeds solely through intelligence and hard work, making his progress (such as it is) all the more impressive. This book is bonkers, entertaining, clever and - quite possibly - unique — PORNOKITSCH
Senlin Ascends crosses the everyday strangeness and lyrical prose of Borges and Gogol with all the action and adventure of high fantasy. I loved it, and grabbed the next one as soon as I turned the last page — Django Wexler
This is an exceedingly rich book. A depth of imagination married with a poetic turn of phrase and an engaging cast of characters conspire to deliver an epic story soaring high above the clouds . . . Thomas Senlin himself is the most unlikely yet likeable hero since a certain hobbit rushed out of Bag End leaving his second breakfast half-finished and entirely unwashed-up — FANTASY FACTION
The world building in this book is phenomenal . . . Senlin Ascends starts off with a bang, and it never slows down. With its breathtaking pace, this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It has adventure, intrigue, action, fantasy, Steampunk elements, and mystery all wrapped around a story of a man coming to grips with the fact that nothing is as he expected — SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW
Senlin Ascends was a fantastic read, and felt truly unique. I will most definitely be reading the rest of Bancroft's work — BOOKNEST
Bancroft succeeds amazingly in creating a baffling world that offers little tenderness or hope, but in which the pursuit of instinct and love, dedication and shared sacrifice can overcome barriers . . . . The reader will find much to applaud — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
This is the kind of book that sticks with you, and I haven't read anything quite like it before . . . I would give this book the highest recommendation — THE NOVEL ENTHUSIAST
The tower is a fresh, imaginative tapestry of diverse, colourful locales, and it successfully conveys a sense of energy and corruption in one word after another. This is a roaring, virile place, crackling with life . . . it's a cracking read - there's betrayals, firm friendships, battles, banter, and even true love. It's a charming, fascinating piece, and I highly recommend it. — SCI-FI AND FANTASY REVIEWS
Rich detail and intelligent prose that is absolutely chock-full of character pulled me into the story . . . Absolutely a book to read, to own, and to love. Couldn't recommend it more. — ELITIST BOOK REVIEWS
I absolutely loved this book, and can't wait to see what challenges Senlin faces in the sequel — ETERNAL ESCAPIST
An extraordinary debut that is well worthy of the hype. A beautifully written, highly engaging page-turning masterpiece — FANTASY BOOK REVIEW